I didn't hate this film. Let's start there. I understand why virtually everybody did hate it. It takes forever to get started and the ending is confusing and nonsensical. That didn't bother me as much as I expected. Area 51 is a smart, original, and interesting found footage film that I believe deserves a little bit more attention.
The best thing about the film is the atmosphere. Once they reach the base, everything goes dark (literally) as we attempt to catch a glimpse at the wonders inside the base, almost as if it were some sort of macabre chocolate factory. While I was not a fan of how little we actually got to see of the creatures, I liked how Oren Peli handled the scenes inside the base. The fact that we didn't understand what was going on added to the fear factor, as we were on the same level as the characters. The deepest levels of Area 51 belong to the unknown, where even the agents on the base fear to tread. The last half hour is intense, with the characters venturing into another plane, which was difficult to understand but creepy as hell.
I understand the hesitation to watch this film. Everybody said it was terrible, which it sort of is. But inside that awfulness lies a glimmer of hope, which has at its center a decent horror film. I urge you, I urge all of you, give it a chance. You may just find yourself surprised.